The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, August 5, 2016

Beginning of Post-Retirement Work... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday #20

          Yes, while some of my newly-retired writing friends like Pat and Val/Kathy are lolling around in their jammies all day (Every day is Saturday!) I have officially started working this week. Official meaning all-day workshops and schlepping stuff up to my third floor classroom. (I did some unofficial work last week with some of the heavier things.)

            Yesterday, as I made my sixth trip up the steps with a tall stack of stuff, the custodian said, "You should have put it on the elevator." For a millioneth of a second, I thought it might be possible I'd missed a door that said "elevator," but then he laughed.


          I already have a plan to prank him back.

          So Val/Kathy and Pat--drink some Diet Coke or coffee while you're lounging around the house this morning... and afternoon, and take a few sips for me.

           Now onto book blurb fun.
  • Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book.
  • You choose the genre. Romance? Sci-fi? Contemporary lit? Nonfiction? Poetry anthology? A collection of polka lyrics. You decide.
  • Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Lisa Ricard Claro was the creative brain behind this activity.
  • Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post.
  • Link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is quite easygoing. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is.
  • Check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
  • And most importantly, have fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable.
          Here is the photo for this week, and my finished blurb:

They Never Forget

She stared at him. The man who screamed at her. The man who humiliated her. The man who jabbed a bull hook into her so many times, she had scars on top of scars.

And then she let loose.

She let loose of all her heartache over having babies wrenched away from her. She let loose of all the humiliation over having to perform for a jeering crowd. She let loose of all the pain she felt every day: a small stall was no life compared to being free in a herd of elephants.

Tossing her trainer in the air, she trumpeted her joy as he catapulted across the circus ring and landed with a loud thud. And then she trotted towards the audience to try and tell them her story... so they'd never go to a circus until all wild animals were retired and sent to sanctuaries. (148 words)

       And for those writers who want to work ahead, here is the photo for next week (August 12th):

(This is a photo by Lynn Obermoeller.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Holding My Breath... and Two Great Books

      While I'm holding my breath and waiting for an editor to read my manuscript because she asked for it at a writing conference and said she was going to read it last week when in reality she should have read it immediately it is that good and then she would have felt compelled to send it over to Random House so in reality I am holding my breath to see how big the check will be that'll flutter onto my lap along with the publishing contract I'm going to slobber about a couple of books I just finished.

         Any decent dog book ends with the dog dying. Old Yeller. My Dog Skip. Marley and Me. Knowing that, I figured I could resist crying. 

          I couldn't.

          Julie Barton's memoir is so much more than a dog tale. It's a story of sibling physical abuse. It's a story of depression. It's a story of forgiveness. It's a story of emerging from a horrible abyss... with the help of a four-legged miracle named Bunker.

          However, Barton's abyss is always lurking nearby.


                After I finished sobbing over a handsome golden boy (Bunker was a golden retriever) I read Lisa Ricard Claro's most recent romance novel, Love to Win, which is the final book in this threesome. She's pulled off a hat trick. For the third time in a row, she's sucked me into reading a romance... when normally I stick my nose up in the air, above anything that has a whiff of sweet, fluffy romance.

                This story has Dante and Brenna at its heart. Brenna--in my opinion--is the strongest female character of this trilogy. She's competitive--she hates to lose--and she's not afraid to fight for what she wants.

                I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say that in the end, the cat saves the day.

                And not only is it a story that has a compelling plot, but it also has a rescued cat, a man who's haunted by his time as a soldier, some family dysfunction... and some well-crafted lines.

                These are a few I jotted down:

Why do gorgeous women always fill their tanks with gallons of Batshit Crazy?

The truth sluiced over her, a warm wash of self-realization.

Words died in his throat.

         And when you read a book, don't forget to write a review. An honest one. You liked the book? Write a review. You were bored to tears over a book? Write a review. 

         After all, most writers don't ever get applause. They rarely get packed auditoriums. The way you can clap for them, the way you can give them feedback is to write them a review.

        And hopefully soon, I will be able to exhale... 

        What is a great book you've read this summer? And/Or what do you still want to do before summer ends?